Zoji La

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Zoji La
A view from Zoji La.jpg
View from Zoji La
Elevation 3,528 m (11,575 ft)
Traversed by Srinagar-Leh Highway
Location Jammu and Kashmir
Range Himalaya
Coordinates 34°16′44″N 75°28′19″E / 34.27889°N 75.47194°E / 34.27889; 75.47194Coordinates: 34°16′44″N 75°28′19″E / 34.27889°N 75.47194°E / 34.27889; 75.47194

Zoji La is a high mountain pass in Jammu and Kashmir, India, located on the Indian National Highway 1D between Srinagar and Leh in the western section of the Himalayan mountain range. Though often referred to as Zojila Pass in the foreign press, the correct English translation is Zoji Pass or simply Zojila, since the suffix 'La' itself means pass in several Himalayan languages.The usage of the word "La" can also be seen in the Khardung La, Fotu La, Namika La and Pensi La etc. In modern-day North Indian languages, 'La' (ला) and 'Darra' (दर्रा) are both used interchangeably to mean a mountain pass.

Zoji La is 9 km (5.6 mi) from Sonamarg and provides a vital link between Ladakh and Kashmir Valley. It runs at an elevation of approximately 3,528 metres (11,575 ft), and is the second highest pass after Fotu La on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. It is often closed during winter, though the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working to extend traffic to most parts of the year. The Beacon Force unit of the BRO is responsible for clearing and maintenance of the road during Winter.

Vehicle restrictions[edit]

Every year due to snow, vehicle flow is restricted. In 2017 the pass was closed on 11 December 2017 and the summer snow clearance operation was started on 21 February 2018 by Project Beacon and Project Vijayak. The pass was officially reopened for traffic on 6 April 2018.[1][2][3]

Indo-Pakistan War 1947[edit]

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Zoji La was seized by Pakistani supported invaders in 1948 in their campaign to capture Ladakh. The pass was re-captured by Indian forces on 1 November in an assault codenamed Operation Bison, which achieved success primarily due to the surprise use of tanks, then the highest altitude at which tanks had operated in combat in the world.[4]

Zojila Pass tunnel project[edit]

For main article, see Zoji-la Tunnel

The Zojila Pass tunnel project was approved on 3 January 2018 by the Union Cabinet of India. The tunnel will reduce the time to cross the Zojila Pass from over 3 hours to 15 minutes. The initial cost of the tunnel is 930 million dollars. Once complete it will be the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia.[5][6]

Popular culture[edit]

Salman Khan's Bollywood movie Bajrangi Bhaijan has scenes shot at Zojila.[7][8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zojila Pass opens for vehicular movement - Scoop News Jammu Kashmir". www.scoopnews.in. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  2. ^ "Srinagar-Leh Highway Opens, Civil Administration Ignored". Kashmir Observer. 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  3. ^ UNI (6 April 2018). "Zojila pass on Srinagar-Leh highway officially opened for traffic". United News of India. 
  4. ^ Sinha, Lt. Gen. S.K. (1977). Operation Rescue:Military Operations in Jammu & Kashmir 1947-49. New Delhi: Vision Books. pp. 103–127. ISBN 81-7094-012-5. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cabinet approves Zojila Pass tunnel project - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  6. ^ "Cabinet nod for Rs 6,809-crore Zojila tunnel project connecting Jammu and Kashmir with Ladakh". The Indian Express. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Salman Khan shoots for 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' at snowy Zoji La pass". The Indian Express. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  8. ^ "Salman Khan Shoots Bajrangi Bhaijaan at Zoji La - NDTV Movies". NDTVMovies.com. 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2018-04-07.